Football: Barclays league division one playoff-Nine-man St Roch survive SMB scare


SMB though will only have themselves to blame for failing to take advantage of a below-par St Roch.

In fact, SMB should have taken the lead in the opening minute as Gerald Basset pounced on a mistake by Daven Belle to lay the ball on a plate to Rannes Vel but with only goalie Richard Cesar to beat, Vel shot wide with the goal begging.

St Roch then punished them in the 10th minute from Melvin Pierre’s deep cross over the defence and there was an unmarked Roy Julie to head past goalkeeper Peter Toule for a 1-0 lead.

SMB missed another sitter in the 22nd minute as Marthy Fanny latched onto a long ball to cross instinctively to Basset but his control let him down with the goal at his mercy.

SMB kept pushing for an equaliser and in the 26th minute, St Roch’s Daven Belle intercepted a good passing move for SMB but he almost deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper Cesar.

In the 40th minute, SMB had another gilt-edge chance as Yannick Julie sprung St Roch’s offside trap but Cesar was quick off his line to tackle him and clear the danger.

SMB continued to have the edge in the second period and in the 63rd minute, Ricky Dérothé centred to Ron Rose who set up Julie but he blazed his shot over the cross-bar.

SMB’s good work were rewarded in the 67th minute as Fanny linked up with Basset who was brought down by Cesar who was only yellow-carded by referee Emile Fred as he conceded a penalty. Kevin Quatre stepped up to send Cesar the wrong way to level the score at 1-1.

Three minutes later, St Roch suffered a major setback as Melvin Pierre received his second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Dérothé and was sent off.

However, St Roch almost regained the lead in the 72nd minute as Malagasy Nestor Benahovy’s free-kick fell to Daven Belle but he guided his header narrowly wide.

In the 82nd minute, Steven Télémaque eluded a couple of tackles and went down easily under the challenge in the box but referee Fred was not convinced it was worth a penalty.

As the game headed to extra-time, St Roch stunned the more industrious SMB from substitute Terry Créa’s long cross and Télémaque sneaked in at the far post to head home a brilliant diving header to make it 2-1.

Two minutes later, St Roch were reduced to nine men when Daven Belle was booked for a foul and seconds later red carded for dissent by referee Fred.

SMB threw men forward in search of an equaliser and should have levelled the score in injury time after Julie pounced on a defensive mistake and despite controlling the ball with his hands, which was not penalised by a struggling referee Fred, he centred to Fanny who should have scored from a metre out but made a meal of this golden opportunity to let St Roch off the hook and condemn them to another season in the second division.

R. J-L.

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